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Nicaragua’s mountainous northern region is known as the Land of Eternal Spring, as temperatures hover around 78 degrees F year-round. The balmy weather and lush beauty make it a favorite destination for visitors, although it’s far from overrun. The region’s commercial hub is Matagalpa, two hours north of Managua. The city has three historic churches and many workshops where you can watch local artisans make hand-woven rugs and the local black ceramics. For most visitors, however, Matagalpa’s attraction is its selection of hotels and restaurants, which makes it a great base for excursions along the Ruta de Café. Take a tour of one of the ...

Nicaragua’s mountainous northern region is known as the Land of Eternal Spring, as temperatures hover around 78 degrees F year-round. The balmy weather and lush beauty make it a favorite destination for visitors, although it’s far from overrun. The region’s commercial hub is Matagalpa, two hours north of Managua. The city has three historic churches and many workshops where you can watch local artisans make hand-woven rugs and the local black ceramics. For most visitors, however, Matagalpa’s attraction is its selection of hotels and restaurants, which makes it a great base for excursions along the Ruta de Café. Take a tour of one of the coffee plantations tucked away in the cloud forest-covered mountains for a fascinating look at where your morning cup comes from, and an excellent nature experience. Wake up with the birds in a luxurious eco-lodge, a budget-priced guesthouse or, for a more intimate look at Nicaraguan culture, try a homestay with a local family. There are 33 nature reserves in the area, including Cerro Arenal, Peñas Blancas Massif and Cerro Apante. Help preserve the wilderness by hiring a local guide to show you rain forest residents such as wild cats, howler monkeys, sloths, quetzals, toucans, orchids and bromeliads. Visit picturesque villages such as Jinotega, called the City of Mists for the ever-changing play of the clouds on the surrounding peaks; Darius, birthplace of Nicaragua’s beloved poet Rubén Darío; and Sébaco, with its indigenous community of weavers.

Charlie Morris
About the Expert

Charlie Morris is the author of the Open Road guidebooks Best of Honduras, Best of Costa Rica, Best of Belize, and Switzerland Guide.

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Charlie Morris for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in the mountainous north of Nicaragua centered around the commercial hub of the city of Matagalpa, from which extends the Ruta de Café - coffee route.
  • Language: Spanish, Sumo
  • Currency: Cordoba
  • Research: Matagalpa | Matagalpa
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    November—February, coffee harvest season